• The Acresis Team

Founding Partners

Founders should indeed be entrepreneurial but are not always in “start-up”  mode.  Founders not only have to start businesses, but also must grow, scale-up, operate and eventually Exit them when the time and circumstances are right. Acresis was formed by two Founding Partners, augmented by specialist Operating Partners, who have all started, grown and sold businesses successfully. They have done this both independently and as a team, which gives them special perspective and a compound effect in helping guide other founders to achieve their goals in growth, liquidity and wealth.

Mark Hodges

With a unique talent for building new markets and preeminent companies, Mark has created several category leaders in the Information Technology & Professional Services space over his 25+ year career.  As co-founder of EquaTerra, Mark ran strategy and corporate development to grow the company from $0 to $102M over 8 years, leading to an acquisition by KPMG.  Mark served as a founding executive and VP of Strategy & Marketing for HR outsourcing leader Exult, helping it grow from $0 to $273 million in under three years, leading to an IPO and acquisition by Hewitt & Associates for $795M.  

At Acresis Mark’s current clients include OneSource, which grew from $12M in 2011 to $97M in 2015, and Forefront Innovation, which grew from $1M in 2011 to $70M in 2014.  Mark also serves on the Board of Directors at Arise Virtual Solutions, Myelin Communications and Vitalyst, as well as on numerous Advisory Boards.

Mark earned his BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley.  Outside of his work and passion for helping Founders, Mark enjoys golf, reading, history, snow skiing, tennis, basketball and swimming.  He splits time between The Woodlands, Texas, and New York with his wife and daughter.

Bill Thomas

A motivated, entrepreneurial business leader with significant international work, Bill has deep experience in technology, services and investing.  He has successfully completed multiple acquisitions and capital events and held numerous board positions.  He has operated successfully across a variety of organizations, including NYSE-listed corporations, a Big 4 partnership, and venture-backed companies.

Bill led International business units for both the Ceridian Corporation and Fidelity, was a Partner at EquaTerra, (acquired by KPMG in 2012), was an investor and Chief Operating Officer for High Street Partners, (acquired by HG Capital in 2014) and an Advisory Board member to OneSource Virtual.  Bill he holds a variety of Board positions including Acresis LLC (Founding Partner), Symphony Ventures (Chairman), OmPrompt (Chairman), My Family Care (Chairman), GetMyFirstJob (Chairman) and eNate (Investor and Director).

Bill has an extensive global network and is a well-known thought leader, particularly within the business services industry.  He understands how to build high performance cultures, and has a proven track record of developing and executing strategic plans.  He is a natural sales-focused leader with a passion for developing people and teams to help them realize their full potential.

Operating Partners

Acresis Operating Partners come from a wide array of backgrounds and industries, but all share hands-on field experience as owners, founders, and senior leaders in general management or specific key business functions like IT, sales, finance, shared services and others. Our partners have a minimum of 20 years of business experience in helping to grow companies in key industry verticals, such as Financial Services, Energy, Software, IT & Professional Services, and others. We have worked on multiple continents (more than 10 countries) at companies in all stages of growth, ranging in size from venture-backed market makers to the Fortune 100. Together our partners have helped to drive over $1B in incremental and realized growth across the various companies we have served.

Bill Weathersby

Bill is a recognized leader in driving high growth for global companies.  He has been an international executive of NYSE and NASDAQ-listed companies, working in founder-owned businesses across technology, professional services and energy. He held executive leadership positions in Europe and the U.S. for Altra Energy, Caminus, Sungard Energy, Spherion Technology, and was also Partner and COO at EquaTerra, which sold to KPMG for $102 M.

Bill has raised over $100M in Private Equity for founder-owned businesses and has acquired and integrated over 12 founder-owned businesses in the technology, software and professional services space with enterprise value over $250M.  Most recently Bill co-founded and serves as Chairman at Energy Water Solutions, a leader in recycling produced water.

Bill graduated from Texas A&M with a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MA in Management.   He serves on Advisory Boards for the Texas A&M Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship and The Energy Institute, and is also a member of the Aggie Angel Network.   Outside of his work and passion for helping Founders, Bill enjoys golf and weight lifting.  He currently splits time between The Woodlands, Texas, and California with his wife. 

Patricia Taylor

Patricia is a proven executive with 20+ years of leadership experience in growth and transformation for business process outsourcing (BPO) services and cloud enterprise software providers.  She has a unique and proven ability to crystallize the real business drivers within complex systems and help executives identify and motivate talent to make positive change.

Patricia has served in C-level, Director, and Board roles for numerous market leaders including Ceridian (HR services) and Logica, where she led a turnaround to increase revenues by £20M on sales of £70M.  Recently she has worked with several venture and PE-backed companies to help develop and implement strategic plans for sales, client retention, operations and investment.

Patricia earned her BA the University of Mary Washington and her MBA from The College of William and Mary.

Abe Shasha

Abe has deep industry expertise in downstream, midstream, and upstream oil and gas and chemicals sectors, including extensive knowledge of technology and software for these particular markets.  Previously Abe led the Advanced Services sales team for Honeywell’s $300 M Oil & Gas division.  He also led the Global Accounts program at AspenTech, where he delivered significant growth.  

As a strategic consultant, Abe has developed sales and revenue streams for multiple software and technology firms in the oil and gas sector, including several small and mid-size software firms in adjacent markets.  He has worked in different geographies and alternative sales channels for over 20 years, with multiple engagements for founder-led firms.

Abe earned his BS in Economics and Computer Science from University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Vanessa Pitre

With over 20 years of experience in building strong and value-added HR functions, Vanessa is both strategic and operationally minded in her ability to align HR practices with strategic objectives and financial results.  In addition to operating her own HR professional services firm for more than 10 years, she has led the HR function for high-growth enterprises, including Encore Legal Solutions, which merged 8 companies over time and exited at $60 M, and Via International, which grew from start-up to 300 employees and $70 M in annual sales.

Vanessa has experience building HR functions from the ground up, with strengths in organizational development, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits analysis, and recruiting for multi-cultural teams and work environments. 

She earned her BS from Southeastern Louisiana University and her MA from Louisiana State University.

Steven Pivnik

Steven is a successful Founder with over 25 years of experience in the field of information technology. He has a passion for helping ambitious founders navigate the various stages of growth and ultimate exit that he has experienced.

As Founder & CEO, and later Executive Chairman, of Binary Tree Steven led his firm to become one of the most recognized Microsoft Gold Partners in the Cloud Migration space. With over 200 employees in 12 countries, Binary Tree was featured on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies 7 times. Steven negotiated and closed several 7 figure licensing deals with IBM, Google and Microsoft. In addition to organic growth he also led Binary Tree’s acquisition of several smaller firms. Binary Tree was sold to a strategic acquirer – Quest Software - in 2020.

Steven discovered a dorm room project called NeedToMeet that solved scheduling challenges. He acquired the IP, modernized it, built a mobile app version and substantially grew usage and revenue via a freemium model. NeedToMeet was sold in 2018.

In 1999 as part of an asset sale, Steven joined the leadership team of the acquiring private equity-backed company.  During his 2 years, 6 additional companies were acquired. Steven led the integration efforts as the bulk of the acquired staff reported into Steven’s business area. 

Steven’s passion for adventure, new challenges and exceeding goals transcends into his personal life where he enjoys Ironman distance triathlons, marathons, ultramarathons, helicopter skiing and mountaineering.

Richard Jones

With 30+ years of experience in technology and sourcing for U.S. and European companies, Richard offers CEO/Founder clients advisory services to help build out IT-enabled services businesses.  Areas of focus and expertise for Richard include robotics/automation, outsourcing, human capital management, finance & accounting, and CEO coaching, especially to European CEOs of American businesses.

Richard is formerly a Commercial Director at IBM, a Partner with Accenture, and President (Europe) for Exult, a leading HR outsourcing services that sold to Hewitt & Associates for $795M.  He has also served as the Chairman or member on several boards and executive advisory groups for Genfour Limited (robotic process automation), Ovation Incentives (customer and employee rewards programs), Proxima Group (procurement), and the government of Wales, among others. 

Richard earned his BS in Mathematics from University of Southampton in the UK.

Michael Edwards

Michael is a recognized leader in the Energy industry with expertise in executive recruiting, strategic market development and integrated solution selling.  He has been an innovator, founder-owner, investor and passionate advocate of the energy industry for nearly 30 years, having successfully completed multiple acquisitions. 

As the CEO and founder of the Power Recruiting Group, a leading search firm in the Energy industry, Michael has led international sales efforts for innovative alternative energy products.  He was also an original founder of Calnetix, an alternative energy firm focused on providing waste-to-energy technologies, which sold to GE Water and Power for $80 M. 

He earned his BBA from Baylor University and an MBA from St. Thomas.  He currently lives in The Woodlands, Texas, with his wife and four children.

Harold Hughes

With over 30 years of international financial services and FinTech experience, Harold specializes in high-growth strategies, turnarounds and execution.  Most recently as the CEO of Alliance Bernstein Investments, he led a post-2008 turnaround from $6B in annual net asset outflows to net positive flows in 2013.  His turnaround approach is process-driven and people-centered, with a focus on making the most of existing resources and taking difficult decisions quickly.  

Harold has international business and product experience working for high net worth clients, with specific experience across the UK, Europe and Russia.  He was a co-founder of financial planning portal Net Decide, raising A-D rounds of VC investment, and a founder of Hug The Data, a data infrastructure startup built on a patent-pending data transformation and storage technology for cloud applications.

Kepler Knott

With a focus on strategic B2B market development and thought leadership, Kepler has held executive and/or Board positions at G2 Research (acquired by Gartner), Equitant (acquired by IBM), and Accenture, where he worked as the Director of Market & Competitive Intelligence in direct support of the firm's CEO and Executive Committee. He also founded and operated his own successful consultancy for nearly 20 years.

Today he focuses on developing go-to-market programs for innovators in technology-enabled product and service companies to help them attract capital, customers and partners.  His work and life experience have led him to over 40 countries, and have included volunteerism and service in intelligence, civil affairs, and community development.

Kepler earned a BA from Duke University and an MA in International Policy Studies from The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Edgar Uribe

With 25+ years of experience working with high-growth enterprises, Edgar offers expertise and a proven track record in strategy, business development, operations and finance.  He has held leadership positions around enterprise restructuring and integration, the implementation of shared services, and various other business transformations, including domestic and international mergers and acquisitions.

Edgar worked as the Executive Vice President at Cardno, an $800 M Australia-based engineering and environmental consultancy organization and was also Vice President of Operations at  ISG formerly (TPI), a $250 million global management consulting firm,  where he was responsible for the international strategic growth planning across major markets in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. 

Edgar earned his BS in Economics from Louisiana State University, and is fluent in Spanish, with a working knowledge of Portuguese, French and German.

Brian Southward
 

20 Years Financial and Commercial Leadership

MNC–British Airways, American Express 

SME–AirMilesTravel Company, Iris Worldwide, OfficePod, AudioBoom,

Big Blu Broadband, Symphony Ventures

Start-up–Starcount(co-founder), Scratch Meals, Fika, Propmap.io

 

15 Years Driving Business Transformation

Scale up –AirMilesTravel Company, Iris Worldwide, Big Blu Broadband, Symphony Ventures

International Expansion -Iris Worldwide, Big Blu Broadband, Symphony Ventures

M&A–Iris Worldwide, Starcount, Big Blu Broadband (Buy & Build)

IPO–AudioBoom, Big Blu Broadband 

Exits–Symphony Ventures (trade), Starcount(MBI)

Fundraising-AudioBoom, Big Blu Broadband , Starcount, OfficePOD, Scratch Meals, Fika, Propmap.io, 77 Diamonds, NinelivesCapital

 

10 Years Leading and Advising in TMT

Technology–Starcount, Symphony Ventures, Fika, Propmap.io

Media–Iris Worldwide, AudioBoom

Telecoms–Big Blu Broadband

 

Summary:

• 20 years of Commercial Finance leadership

• 15 years Board Level experience

• 5 years NED/Advisory Board experience

 

• Chief Financial Officer

  -IrisWorldwideLimited

  -StarcountPteLimited

  -SymphonyVenturesLimited

 

• Corporate Development Director/Investor Relations

  -Big Blu Broadband Plc

 

• Commercial Director

  -AirMilesTravel Company Limited

 

• NED/Advisory Board

  -AudioBoomPlc

  -OfficePODLimited

  -FikaCommunity Limited

 

John Lema

With almost 20 years of technology and sales leadership, John has deep experience in founding and developing successful IT-enabled businesses.  He is co-founder and CEO of SourceSeek, an outsourced team placement and advisory business, and the founder of CareCast, a temporary healthcare staffing provider in New York. 

Previously, John was the CEO and co-founder of ScrollMotion, a publishing and B2B iOS application and platform that became the largest provider of apps on iTunes, Google Play, Blackberry App Store and Microsoft Mobile store, serving customers such as GE, Genentech, Exxon and Toyota. 

John was a finalist for E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012.  His other successful ventures include Castle Rock Management, a hospitality real estate development and management services firm based in New York, and BV Technology, an IT consultancy that sold to Perficient in 2001.